It had all the makings of a rout from the beginning. The Ferris boys basketball team jumped out to 16-5 advantage over Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, California) by pressing the Monarchs into turnovers, leading to easy buckets.
The Saxons’ halfcourt offense was precise and efficient and Ferris grabbed most of the boards. The recipe was easy enough to follow, but the Monarchs didn’t go quietly.
Archbishop Mitty kept chipping away and frustrating the Saxons just enough to make it one of the best games of the Dan Fitzgerald Memorial Basketball Showcase over the weekend. The Saxons warded off the Monarchs’ advances for an 80-75 victory on Saturday at Lewis and Clark High School.
“It was a good game and hats off to them, they played really hard,” Ferris head coach Sean Mallon said. “We knew after last night (the Monarchs lost 66-46 to Lewis and Clark) they were going to come out and have a better showing today, for sure.”
It just took a little time for the Monarchs to find their wings.
Archbishop Mitty’s three starting seniors – Hekili Jordan, Riley Grigsby and Charles Meng – gave the Monarchs a chance, scoring 54 of the team’s points. Grigsby, a 6-foot-6 wing, has received offers from Saint Mary’s and San Francisco in the last couple of months.
But Ferris senior Mike Ervin recorded a double-double, sinking 23 points and grabbing a Fitz-record 15 rebounds.
“He is just an absolute competitor,” Mallon said of Ervin. “We ask him to do so many different things out there and he always responds to the challenge. He’s a Swiss army knife for us.”
After coasting to a 76-32 victory on Friday over San Ramos (California) Valley, Mallon wanted to see his team play fast and under pressure in a tight game.
“For our guys, we wanted to get it going up and down, but I was happy that today we were able to win in a more grind it out type of style,” Mallon said. “It was a good win for us.”
Ferris added 26 points from the free-throw line, shooting 84 percent. Ervin went 12 for 13 from the line.
The Monarchs shot only 14 of 22 from the line on Saturday.
“That’s a good team,” Mallon said. “They’re physical, they didn’t give up and there were a couple points in the game where I thought we might be able to blow it open, but they kept coming right back at us. It is a good team and they have some really good players.”
Lewis and Clark 64, San Ramon Valley 41: Junior Griffin Effenberger scored 12 of his 18 points in the third quarter and the Tigers defeated the Wolves for their second 20-plus-points win in two days.
Seniors Bailey Rosenau and Naje Smith added 11 points apiece for the Tigers.
Sebastian Scott led the Wolves with 11 points.
Mt. Spokane 67, Sheldon (Oregon) 63: A record-tying performance from Aspyn Adams led the Wildcats (2-1) to a victory over the Irish. Adams scored three points in the waning moments from the free-throw line to tie the record. But she missed one of her four free throws to keep her at 29 points.
“She can score,” Wildcats head coach David Pratt said. “She is just a phenomenal scorer and I am proud of her for tying it, but she was actually disappointed that she didn’t beat it. She is just a great athlete to coach and she can just put the ball in the basket.”
Ervina Westbrook, a freshman at 12th-ranked Tennessee, also scored 29 points two years ago when South Salem traveled to Spokane for The Fitz.
Mt. Spokane was disappointed with its game against Eastlake on Friday, when the Wildcats never got within 10 points and lost 58-43.
“We definitely have the passion and the drive to be successful, but we made a lot of mistakes because it’s early in the season, but we still found a way to win,” Pratt said.
This was the first time Mt. Spokane had been featured in the showcase.
“It was fun. They do a really nice job,” Pratt said. “You play teams you’re not going to see. I loved it and they did a great job organizing it and they treated us really well, just a great tournament.”
Eastlake 66, Lewis and Clark 65 (OT): The Tigers (0-3) lost on a putback shot by Mae Bryant with 5 seconds left and the Wolves snatched a victory away from the host team.
Lewis and Clark roared back in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 57 after entering the quarter down by eight. The Tigers almost won the game at the end of regulation and overtime, but their shots rimmed out both times.
LC junior Jacinta Buckley finished the game with a team-high 17 points and added 13 rebounds, four assists and four steals. Eastlake’s Gina Marzen finished with a game-high 18 points.